Holidays and flights

Hi, I have left arm secondary Lymphoedema. In the last 3 months I have been on four flights and whilst on holiday I did not wear my sleeve when I was by the pool sunbathing as I was regularly in and out the pool. I do think my arm is slightly larger than when I was first diagnosed in June, but I am not sure if this is the cause. Can anyone advise me what they do on holiday.

15 Replies

  • By the way, welcome to the club, I have LO in the same arm as u. ;-) nice to find my Gemini in all this! How did u end up lymphy?

  • Hi Bluedolphin

    I had breast cancer 7 years ago with all Lymph nodes removed. I thought I was being careful but after returning from a break at Easter some swelling began in my hand. I was a little concerned but it went away, only to come back and after a hasty phone call to the Breast Cancer Nurse I was diagnosed with Lymphoedema. How about you? Is there a way to send messages on here, maybe this isn't really the place to post?

  • I also had breast cancer 7 years ago with all Lymph nodes removed. My lymph appeared after 6 months, and its sticking around. Don't let that worry you though, its stayed stable in all that time and my measurement prescription for my sleeve has stayed the same for years now. It swells slightly sometimes but soon goes back down. I choose to wear the sleeve every day, but don't do any massage-can't be bothered. If I did it would probably go away so I feel its my choice that I wear a sleeve. It's not too bad and keeps me warm in winter!

  • I always keep my sleeve on on holiday as it would swell more otherwise so I think that your extra swelling would have been caused by keeping it off although I would have thought that the swimming would counteract it. My arm usually swells slightly on holiday even wearing my sleeve but I don't always manage to do the same amount of MLD as at home and I don't swim. Hopefully it will go down as you get back to normal

  • Sounds like you're a newby, finding your way. I have secondary lympho in right arm (I'm right handed so it can be difficult). I'm guessing its not too swollen? (like myself) Your arm will possibly swell without the sleeve-that's why you wear it in the first place. With a bit of extra care afterwards it will probably go back down. I think if on holiday in a hot place you can wear the sleeve overnight instead to counteract? Someone please advise if I've got this wrong!

  • Yes I am a newby (3 months) it is not very swollen not visibly bigger than the other one about 2cm difference on forearm. I will concentrate on trying to get it back down again, been back from hols since 18th Aug but it doesn't seem to be reducing maybe I need to be more patient. Thank you for your reply.

  • Strangely enough the heat makes my arm less swollen! How weird is that? About wearing your sleeve, I am also very tempted but my nurse recommended not to. There are some new garments just coming out that you can wear at night. I am thinking about getting one but they are quite expensive. To answer your question, I might be congenital but not sure. That is a big mistery! I had a crusade ligament cut when I was 18 which provoqued Lymphedema at 23 in my left knee and my left arm swollen at 34. No clue why! I have to find out if Iam primary or secondary as they apparently would be able to treat u differently. Nice to hear from u all lymphies!

  • I do feel for all Lymphies who get it so young it must be very very difficult to deal with. I will ask next time at clinic about night time wear on hols. Take care, i hope you manage to solve out the prim/sec question x

  • My lymph makes my arm about 2cm larger. I class this as a mild case and think I'm very lucky. Nobody actually notices it (who compares arms?), and after having conversations with people, most don't initially see my sleeve! When I wear short sleeves I feel that its the first thing people see but it really isn't. Lymphoedema is a part of you, BUT IT DOESN'T DEFINE YOU. I accept this condition and it can be a great way to spread my story and tell women to be aware of checking themselves for breast cancer-I feel its my duty now.

  • Yes I do agree, I feel lucky too, but cannot seem to stop the paranoia that it will get bigger. Hopefully as time goes by I will feel more at ease with it. I did feel good the other day when I spoke to a lady who also had breast cancer surgery and I was able to impress upon her to be careful with her arm as Lymphoedema is a real possibility and she was able to ask me about it. I know you are right and thank you for your replies.

  • Hi all on holiday I generally leave my sleeve off for swimming/sunbathing and on for sightseeing etc, wear long sleeves to protect shoulders if wandering about in hot sun. I wear factor 30 suncream and don't stay uncovered for long as I also tend to be a bit sun-sensitive! Generally find a bit of an increase in swelling after holiday (think as much to do with flying as anything else) but being more diligent about compression and sld afterwards seems to do the trick.

  • That's almost exactly what I did, except I tan easily so didn't worry about the higher factor creams. How long after your holiday did you manage to get back to pre holiday size?

  • It was about a fortnight, I went back to physio and she re-measured me and confirmed I was back to pre holiday dimensions!

  • Ok. I dont actually have physio, not sure why, I have only seen the Lymphoedema nurse once. Do you get that on NHS? It has already been 13 days. I have been measuring the worst area (just below the elbow) and it did seem to be down a few mm last night.

  • Hi king, like you, the worst part of my LO is under the elbow, I have no clue why.

    If you want to chat about the gel or our arms issues: my email is:

    Talk to u soon

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